Who Will Police Crescent Springs? Erlanger Alters Offer, Villa Hills Looking, Too
The question over who will provide police services to Crescent Springs remains unanswered.
Last week, the City of Erlanger amended its offer to continue offering police patrol services to its neighbor, and Villa Hills Police Chief Bryan Allen expanded on his proposal for that city's department to take over for Crescent Springs.
“Their big hang up, from what I understand, is that they don’t think we can handle the crime,” said Chief Allen, referencing some concern expressed by Crescent Springs City Council. “I’ve got four officers that have over 100 years experience, I think we can handle it.”
Crescent Springs cited rising costs in its wishes to reevaluate its relationship with Erlanger. At one point, Crescent Springs City Administrator George Ripberger said that it could possibly be more cost-effective for his city to reestablish its own police department.
Crescent Springs currently pays Erlanger $1,068,666 under a five-year contract that expires next year, and costs would increase under a new contract, which led Crescent Springs to begin a search for a cheaper option.
“We’ve given them a fair proposal,” Allen said of his bid, which was $546,694 per year, nearly half of the cost Erlanger proposed.
“I think that they have to justify why they have to spend $300,000 to $500,000 more for police services when we can provide that same police service that Erlanger is giving them right now.”
Last week, Erlanger amended its proposal to $953,000 per year instead of the original $1.111 million being paid currently. The annual increase would be reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent.
Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes said that there were two issues of concern in the negotiations: there was no clarification related to a potential price reduction should Erlanger get rid of its emergency dispatch operations, something the city council voted last week to explore; and secondly, the automatic percent-increase each year.
If Erlanger loses its dispatch center, the price would drop an additional $108,000, Hermes said, as a one-time reduction. The percent-increase would not be automatic, he said.
Erlanger wants an answers from Crescent Springs by September 1 because the police department has five officers scheduled to retire. Erlanger would need time to hire officers to replace them if Crescent Springs was still being patrolled by its department.
New officers would also be needed in Villa Hills.
Chief Allen said that he went through and figured all of the costs for new equipment and training to hire an additional 4 to 5 officers to come up with his yearly total.
After receiving criticism for his significantly lower budget, he asked other police chiefs in the area to review his budget and see if there was anything that he missed that would cause such a drastic difference, and he said no one found anything wrong with his proposed budget.
“My numbers are fair, my numbers are correct,” Allen said. “It’s their decision ultimately. If they choose to do that, then they’ll have to make it right with their people, but don’t do it at the expense of my department.”
Allen added, “(Erlanger Police Chief) Tony Wilson is a good chief, he’s got a great department. The whole thing was, this is what it costs them, this is what it costs us. We’re not saying anything derogatory about anyone.”
Other criticism of the Villa Hills department is that they don’t have a significant amount of equipment for processing crime scenes, but according to Allen the department has a mutual aid agreement with the county.
Allen said that if his department received the contract with Crescent Springs he would begin hiring new officers in four months to have them trained and ready to start patrolling at the beginning of the contract next summer.
Written by Carrie Crotzer, Patricia A. Scheyer, and Michael Monks
Photo: Villa Hills Police Chief Bryan Allen (via city website)